Succulents: Purple Aeoniums with Flower Spike Buds

My purple aeoniums have several flower spike buds this season, the most of any season. I love watching my aeoniums at any stage of development, but especially when they are producing flower spikes. Before the eye-popping yellow flowers come to be, the green color in the center of the rosettes are very beautiful, as are the green flower buds themselves, in striking contrast to the purple rosette petals. This is the plant, of all plants in my back yard, that I check on first, a real favorite.img_1668img_1669

Succulents: Purple Aeonium Flower Spike in Spring Bloom!

The intense yellow flowers are a striking contrast to the deep purple rosettes of the aeonium.IMG_3345 My purple aeoniums are mature enough that they produce these flower spikes every year and are a roaring way to start spring!

Succulents: Purple Aeonium and Jade Plant Growing Mightily

Although I am quite pleased about the height and spread of my purple aeonium, my jade plant, which is growing along side of it is also making a stunning showing, both in height and spread of its own. The jade plant reminds me of a lively dragon. Check them out together! They both started out in five-gallon containers, with the jade plant actually starting out as an indoor plant for a few years. I’m very pleased with the changes. These succulents are robust and can make a very dramatic showing, separately and together, in any garden.IMG_3334

CONSUMER ALERT UPDATE:  Ingestion of the sap of the jade plant may cause illness and skin contact with the sap may also cause dermatitis. More information on toxic plants can be found here:

http://www.calpoison.org/hcp/KNOW%20YOUR%20PLANTS-plant%20list%20for%20CPCS%2009B.pdf

Succulent: Purple Aeonium Awash in Aerial Roots

The centerpiece of my backyard garden, a bountiful purple aeonium, now has many aerial roots. This wonderful succulent is nearly five feet in height and three feet in width, thriving. This is one of the plants in my garden that I imagine will be with me for my entire life, which is so amazing.  But the comparatively rapid development of these aerial or air roots indicate that it may be time to start reducing the size of this plant, to prevent the weight and underground roots of the large plant from over-stressing it. In other words, it’s time to propagate this aeonium! In the past, I’ve put in a tall metal shepherd’s hook and used plastic garden ties to support some of the rosette-heavy branches, to reduce the stress, but the plant is saying that additional supports are not sufficient to reduce the stress on it.IMG_3332

In June 2014, I’d noticed the aerial roots (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aerial_root)  beginning to form. Now, they’ve developed enough to indicate that it’s time to find a new place in the back yard to “further the dynasty” of the purple aeonium. In the past few months, I’ve planted a few of fallen rosettes and they have taken to their location, just across from the primary parent plant. In the next few weeks, I will begin the process of  additional culling some branches from the parent plant. The parent plant will appreciate this effort and it won’t be long, I’m sure, before this new aeonium location will explode with healthy growth. Although, I must say, the aerial roots are quite lovely.

 

Succulent: Purple Aeonium Branches Sprout Roots

The purple aeonium continues to amaze. Check out the roots that are sprouting from the branches, which, by the way are well above the ground! The roots to the left look like thin fibers while those on the right are finger-like and thick, very much like my Dracaena draco tree and wild grape.IMG_3232

This is the first time any of my purple aeoniums have done this, so my impression is that this succulent plant has reached sufficient maturity to start doing this. The thicker roots – I have a good idea of what they’ll do: they will just get longer and longer until they make contact with the soil and grow into it. But the thin fiber-like roots: I am not sure how they will change with time, or if they will change. I am quite excited to see what happens, though. This lovely purple succulent is such a thrilling surprise!

CONSUMER ALERT: The grapes on the succulent, known as “wild grape,” have been described as poisonous or toxic because the grapes contain oxalic acid, and should not be eaten. Further information about this plant (and its toxicity) is found here: http://botanicalgarden.berkeley.edu/SOM/SOM-october06.shtml

Succulent: Purple Aeonium Has Emerging Rosettes

Take heart: when a branch snaps off of a healthy purple aeonium, with time, new rosettes will form at where the branch broke off. I’ve had a few branches break down in recent months (and have planted them elsewhere in my garden) but it is always encouraging to see that where a seemingly sad garden event occurred, in its place, a happy garden event is waiting to happen.IMG_3229

Check out the very tiny rosettes that are just beginning to form at one of these branch-break sites. As these new rosettes mature and larger, it will not surprise me if  yet another break happens at this particular site as well. That’s just what happens with aeonium when they get mature, tree-like in height, and weighed down with large and heavy rosettes. Of course, this plant’s endgame is to have me populate my entire garden with all of these broken-off branches until it will be just a jungle of purple aeoniums – not a bad situation to be in by the way!

Purple Aeonium Fallen Branches Form a New Garden

In the past several days, my area has had rain and wind, which were catalysts to the breaking off of several branches of my purple aeoniums. Although a sad event, it is not an unexpected one since aeonium branches are not very strong. One too many rosettes and down they go. But these branches make for very easy propagation of new stand-alone purple aeonium plants. All you need to do is dig shallow holes in the ground, replace the dug-out soil, and water a bit so that the soil is moist but not soggy.IMG_3204

You can also simply place these broken branches into containers that contain potting soil and have stunning specimen plants. Check out my very “elaborate” support system to keep the newly planted branches from falling over – used plastic containers that have been stacked! Some of the broken branches had rosettes and others had fiery flower spikes. In a short time, these fallen branches will get taller and grow new rosettes, establishing a new purple aeonium garden.

Purple Aeonium Has Flower Buds

I have enjoyed watching my purple aeonium as it has matured. My plant has, on some years, produced conical flower spikes loaded with yellow flowers. I’m not sure this year if I will see flower cones, but I do see that at least three of my aeonium branches are showing flower buds. The contrast between vibrant green buds and purple-black petals is truly lovely and warms up my winter garden perfectly! In a few years since being moved from a simple plastic container to being planted in-ground, the succulent has grown quite tall and has produced many branches. Most of the petals are part of distinct flower-like rosettes; other petals, like those pictured, are like leaves dotting an elongated trunk, not looking like a rosette at all (more like a dragon!) – see the contrast in the photo of my aeonium forest! There are no words to describe how truly beautiful this plant is, such a head-turner and requires minimal care. I love it!IMG_3169IMG_3170

Fan Aloe Transplanted into the Ground

After many years in a simple plastic 5-gallon container, my fan aloe was ready to be transplanted into the ground in my back yard. I had transplanted other succulents from container to ground when they grew quite large, with great success. Much to my delight, they have grown quite a bit taller and spread, which waIMG_3106s an argument against my re-potting the fan aloe into a larger container. I’d like to see all of these lovely plants get to be the size of small trees!

The trunk of this plant is already quite thick and sturdy, signaling the good health of this plant. It is an exciting addition to my modest but mighty in-ground succulent garden! The one in the background is my purple aeoneum. The one in the middle is my jade plant, which actually spent the first few years indoors and rather small. It’s not small any longer! In between the fan aloe and the jade plant are the lovely rosettes of my ghost plant (aka mother of pearl plant). All succulents, all exquisite, and all produce flowers!

Because succulents are very low-maintenance, it’s a part of my backyard garden that I have not had to worry too much about. There is some overgrowth and dried vegetation that I will be cleaning up tomorrow, but it’s so very easy to do.

CONSUMER ALERT UPDATE:  Ingestion of the sap of the jade plant may cause illness and skin contact with the sap may also cause dermatitis. More information on toxic plants can be found here:IMG_3107

http://www.calpoison.org/hcp/KNOW%20YOUR%20PLANTS-plant%20list%20for%20CPCS%2009B.pdf

Succulents: Purple Aeonium Flower Spikes in Flower!

Incredibly lovely! In less than month, the flower spikes of my purple aeoniums have begun to flower. The color is such a vibrant yellow. Even better, these flowers have been vIMG_2959ery popular with bees. These flower spikes have really brought a lot of excitement and beauty to my garden.

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